Feeling the end of Dungeness crab season nearing, husband and I have been wandering the docks to buy fresh live crab on a weekly basis. Right now they are incredibly cheap (about $3/lb) and the fattest, sweetest, and juiciest we've encountered all season. Since we bought three the other night, I was excited to try a new preparation, straying from our steam and eat routine.
Good thing I have Mai Pham's, "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table" out on loan from the library. There's a simple recipe for S&P crab and scallion noodles that I used, and boy, were we dining like barbarians and licking our fingers by meal's end. It was messy but sinfully good. Shell-on crab is best enjoyed in the privacy of one's own home IMO.
Since I'm feeling rather lazy and time-pinched, I found a very similar recipe by Mai Pham linked below. Ingredients and technique are slightly different and linked recipe is for garlic noodles, but should turn out just as good.
I like that the crab is briefly steamed before it's wok-fried...I'm still squeamish about killing a live crab w/ my knife. While the traditional deep-fried method in hot oil does taste better, I'll leave that to the restaurants.
The sauce in this was great, and the salt and pepper seeped into every crevice, particularly the tender, delicate body meat. For the noodles, I highly recommend using butter instead of oil. I like using the Vietnamese linguine-like egg noodles called "mi trung".
Ok, I'm off to make crabcakes w/ the reserved steamed and picked crab. Life is good...